With each post, Yoani Sanchez gives us much more than a glimpse into the reality that is castro’s Cuba. Her writing does more than open a window into the tattered soul of Cuba. Yoani’s work not only serves as an inspiration for many, but for some, her work is a catalyst. It empowers. Enboldens. It sparks that little something inside. Lights a dormant fire, helps us find a courage, a conviction we never thought we had.
Last night I received an email from Linda Leinen, a writer and blogger out of Galveston, Texas. She was so moved, so touched by Yoani’s words, that, as she states in her email it “stirred her to begin learning about the cause of those in Cuba.” This is incredibly important in and of itself, but also important is the fact that Linda blogged anonymously until the day she learned of Yoani. And it was Yoani’s work and bravery that fostered the spirit for Linda to sign her name to her previously anonymous work:
Like most Cuban bloggers, I had chosen to remain anonymous. Whether grounded in caution, fear, or simple preference, anonymity can provide comfort, a sense of privacy and security. It also makes issues of honesty and accountability less relevant. Ms. Sanchez, who signs her name and posts her photo on her Web site, appears to have few problems with honesty and accountability; she is quite willing to express her opinions and defend them publicly from the very heart of a dictatorship. Such forthrightness earns her a prerogative or two. Yoani Sanchez, 32 years old and living 90 miles off our shores in a crumbling nation which would prefer not to be portrayed in such detail, has every right to turn to a 61-year-old, comfortable and completely un-oppressed woman and inquire, “And you. Where is your picture? what is your name? Tell me your convictions.”
As I removed my avatar and replaced it with a photograph, as I began signing my name to my work and pondered the implications of doing so, it was the challenge of Yoani Sanchez’ words which resonated in my mind: “Once you experience the flavor of saying what you think, of publishing it and signing it with your name, well, there’s no turning back. One of the first things we have to do, a great way to begin to change, is to be more honest about saying what you think.”
The above quote is from an excellent, must read post titled “If Yoani Sanchez Read Your Blog.”